8 Paths to Better Phone Interpretation (Pt 2)

May 4, 2016

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In a recent blog, we outlined several tips to improve your staff’s phone interpretation experience.

If your employees are unfamiliar with your multilingual support service, they might hesitate to dial an interpreter when the need arises. The tips below may improve employee adoption of the service and even .

5. Address your customer directly and in first person

Instead of telling the interpreter what to say, staff should speak as if the interpreter were not present and address the caller directly.

Speaking this way helps the conversation flow smoothly and may reduce call times.

Instead of “Ask Mr. Yi what his date of birth is,” say, “Mr. Yi, what is your date of birth?”

6. Keep sentences short

All parties on a call benefit when staff uses short sentences and pauses between phrases. Speaking this way helps the interpreter convey the full meaning of statements.

Short sentences may also encourage your staff to communicate only essential information, shortening the overall call time.

7. Avoid idioms, metaphors, and slang

If possible, choose a literal wording instead of idiomatic or metaphorical language, as these phrases may not translate well.

You might say “infrequently” instead of “once in a blue moon,” or “very expensive” instead of “costs an arm and a leg.”

8. Aid the interpreter in clarifying cultural or linguistic issues

If your caller struggles to understand something, the interpreter will tell you and attempt to clarify your meaning to the caller.

This clarification process might require the interpreter to speak directly to you, or you may hear the interpreter conversing directly with your customer. Should this happen, don’t worry—it will help all parties better understand each other.

With the eight tips we’ve outlined here and in part one of this series, you may improve the quality of your interactions with telephone interpreters. Let us know which tips work well for you in the comment section.

Voiance is a division of CyraCom, the leading provider of language interpreting services. Whether in-person or via phone, mobile app, or written text, Voiance bridges communication gaps for organizations that need rapid access to language assistance. The Company supports hundreds of languages and operates 24/7, impacting the lives of millions in the United States.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction, phone interpretation, Interpretation, cultural competency

Written by Charly Mostert